Building a reputation as a global leader in cleantech is complex. It requires educators to nurture, creative innovators to think and develop new ideas and it requires designers and project developers to incorporate these solutions in to projects. This is exactly what is happening in Dublin.
The Green Way, hosted by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA), organised an Irish Cleantech Best Practice Showcase on the 12 March 2015. The Green Way, which is leading an Enterprise Ireland sponsored clustering project, brought together a selection of Irish-based companies that are locally developing cleantech solutions and exporting them globally.
Companies that presented included IBM, Kingspan, Cylon, Davra Networks, Power Capital, Coolpower, Exergyn, Fenestra Pro, FDT Engineering, E-SAVE and M2C. Commenting, Aideen O’Hora Executive Director of The Green Way said Ireland is building a strong reputation as a leader in cleantech with establish brands such as Kingspan and Glen Dimplex being recognised globally. Our emerging companies have also gained international traction, and are taking ideas that they have developed locally to the world-market.
The Green Way wants to support innovation in cleantech by providing platforms- or “living labs” – so that companies can test their pre-commercial technology in real environments, and thus aid commercialisation. Grangegorman offers this opportunity. In addition networking events such as this showcase are vital to bridge dialogue between innovators and users of solutions, so one may inform other of needs and best-practice.
The Grangegorman campus is being developed with sustainability and adaptability at the core; its redevelopment opens up a hidden space in Dublin city centre, and is thus a landmark development to showcase best technology and solutions. DIT and GDA are no strangers to the “local to global dimension” as the design of the Grangegorman campus was done by an Irish-educated architect, James O’Connor2, who has forged a career and international accolades from his base in the US. S
peaking at the event, Prof. Brian Norton, President of DIT stated the cleantech/ sustainability sector continually changes with new technologies and new approaches to delivery. At DIT we are privileged to foster this talent to ensure Ireland’s place as a global leader in cleantech innovation. I’m delighted that two companies speaking at today’s event – Fenestra Pro and Exergyn have origins in DIT, and showcase best practice in their respective fields. At DIT we are keen that our new campus is a living lab hub to test new solutions that can address global challenges, and through this process inform ourselves as to what is possible for local applications.
The showcase helped inform the campus development of emerging trends and best practice from Irish-based companies involved in developing cleantech solutions locally for global application. The companies participating in the showcase have developed innovative solutions in the areas of building systems and controls, energy generation, energy management, data management and city systems. Michael Hand, CEO of Grangegorman Development Agency, added I was delighted to participate in today’s event and learn about emerging trends in sustainability.
The scale of the Grangegorman redevelopment is significant and is recognised as a flagship project for Government, and in this context we want to insure that we incorporate best-practice on sustainability at all times – indeed that has been our focus to date – and we are fully committed to the Grangegorman Urban Quarter to be zero carbon by 2050. To achieve this will require creativity and innovation.
The event also provided the opportunity for Enterprise Ireland to highlight the importance of pre-commercial procurement in the development process. Presenting the Small Business Innovation Research programme (SBIR). Maria Gavin of Enterprise Ireland highlighted how this innovate state initiative is enabling greater access for Irish SME’s into the procurement process. This model has already been piloted in Ireland and successfully rolled out in the US and the UK. Enterprise Ireland plan to run a further 5 SBIR’s in 2015